Psalm 116:12
Many are the blessed spirits that worship God - penitence, faith, reverence, hope, and others. But none are more acceptable than the spirit of gratitude. It is that spirit which speaks here in our text. The following verses contain the answer which the same spirit gives. The inquiry before us implies remembrance of -

I. THE BENEFITS WHICH THE LORD HATH CONFERRED UPON US.

1. It is difficult because of their number, character, variety; and because of Satan's never-ceasing endeavor to hinder us herein.

2. But is full of advantage. More glory comes to God. Our own soul is blessed. We become able to help others.

3. It is a habit which we should cultivate.

II. THE RESPONSE WHICH THESE BENEFITS DEMAND. That of a grateful heart, first and chief of all. God is ever seeking to make up this response; and the devil is ever seeking to prevent it.

III. THE LORD WHO PROMPTS THE INQUIRY WILL ENABLE US TO GIVE THE RESPONSE. - S.C.







What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?
There is a wonderful ministry of contrast in this varied psalm. A diamond resting upon black plush or velvet shines with a more dazzling lustre. And so it is with the bright patches in this psalm, they are lifted into a still whiter radiance by their surroundings. Take this bit of black environment: "The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow." And now take this gracious bit of light lying just upon the very fringe of the dark country: "Gracious is the Lord and righteous; yea, our God is merciful! The Lord preserveth the simple." And here, again, is a similar contrast: "I was greatly afflicted; I said in my haste, All men are liars." How sweet is the music that follows! "What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?" My text is therefore born of the brighter season, when the storm is dying and rumbling away in the distance, and the sun is out again. We find him overwhelmed in the contemplation of Divine benefits. "All His benefits toward me." He is amazed at the richness and the multitude of the favours which surround him. He is engirt by the vast crowd of Divine guests! Into whatever room of his house he enters, the guests are there. In highway and byway they throng his steps! Now, here is a very matured attainment of the spiritual man. To perceive and appreciate our benefits necessitates a very refined soul. That is so upon the merely human plane. There are some men who cannot appreciate kindness. They either never see them or they misconstrue them. They are the victims either of dulness or pride, and both these foul spirits make this kind of appreciation impossible. But this spiritual numbness is even more apparent in our relationship to the Divine. We receive multitudes of benefits, but we do not see the Divine mark upon their foreheads. We take them in, but they are not revealed to us as the King's bounty. It is amazing how fine is the perception of other souls! They never open their eyes without seeing the presence of the hosts of God. "The mountains are full of horses and chariots." "Having nothing," they yet possess all things. Now, this is a fine perception which can be cultivated by continual exercise. We can have our "senses exercised to discern." It is amazing how we can cultivate even a bodily perception. We can train it so as to discover even more minute distinctions. And it is the same with the senses by which we realize the presence of the Divine. But the exercise must be deliberate. We must set about in dead-set purpose to discern the mercies of the Lord. We must just be on the look-out for them as a botanist is on the look-out for wild flowers as he walks the country lanes. You must sit down to-night, for instance, and range over your life to-day, and seek out with eager eyes the mercies which have been about your path. Get hold of Frances Ridley Havergal's "Journal of Mercies," and she will help you in the cultivation of the finer sight. And then the happy issue is this, that what begins in deliberate exercise becomes an instinctive habit. Our souls can become habituated to the perception. Day after day your life would appear more and more filled with the bountiful guests of the Lord. What is the issue of such contemplation? The fountains of desire are unsealed. Love awakes, and yearns to make some return unto the Lord who has poured His benefits upon us. "What shall I render unto the Lord?" Have I ever used that word? If such phrase has never leapt to my lips it is because I have never gazed upon the mercies of the King. What return can I make? Now, mark this; the first answer which comes from a soul that has attained to fine spiritual perception is this — "I will take the cup of salvation." How exceedingly strange it all is! He asks what he can render, and he answers that he will further take! And this is the very essence of true gratitude. The best return we can make for a gift of God is to take a higher gift. Have you thanked Him for your daily bread? Then the best return you can make is to take the bread of life. Have you thanked Him for your sleep? Then the best return you can make is to take His gift of rest and peace. Have you thanked Him for your health? Then the best return you can make is to seek His gift of holiness. "I will take the cup of salvation." I will take the finest thing upon the Lord's table! He has given me this gift, now I will take a bigger gift! But that is not the only return the psalmist makes. "I will pay my vows unto the Lord now." When the cords of death compassed him he had made a strong and secret vow. He said to himself, "If I get over this I will live a more pronounced life unto the Lord! If I get my strength back, I will use it for the King." "If I get out of this darkness, I will take a lamp and light the feet of other men!" And now he is better again, and he sets about to redeem his vow. The midnight vow was redeemed in the morning! As soon as he was out of the peril he remembered his covenant. "Now!" There must be no delay. In this sphere delays are attended with infinite peril. Aye, and he will surround the redemption of his vow with publicity. "In the presence of all His people." He will do something publicly which will strongly proclaim him on God's side, and tell to all men that he has given his devotion to Him. And that must be our way. The vow we made in secret must be performed openly. We must do something to indicate that we have passed through a great experience, and that we are remembering the benefits of the Lord. We can speak His name to another. We can write some gracious letter to a friend. We can attach ourselves publicly to the Master's Church. We can commit ourselves openly and outwardly as professed followers of the King.

(J. H. Jowett, M.A.)

I. A VERY SUITABLE INQUIRY. It contains —

1. A remembrance of all His benefits.

2. A recognition of the Lord's consequent claim.

3. A desire appropriately to acknowledge these benefits.

4. An overwhelming sense of inability to acknowledge God's mercy.

II. A TRULY REMARKABLE REPLY.

1. Thank God for the cup of communion, and the cup of consolation. The best way to praise Him for mercies past is to accept mercies present, and to anticipate the mercies that are still in store.

2. True prayer is worship, homage. As a sickly flower pent within the cottage window turns itself towards the sun, and by drinking in its beams worships it, so you who have nothing to give to the collection, so you who have no talents for Sunday school teaching, so you whose lives seem to be one dull round, one common task, do worship God in most spiritual fashion by just breathing His air, imbibing His beams, meditating on His mercy, and asking still for more.

3. Praise and prayer are acceptable to God, and better sacrifices could hardly be, but with praising and praying the psalmist links paying. Do not divorce one from the other. Do not rob God. Have you never read of one who, being brought to the place of martyrdom, kneeled down in the mire at Smithfield, and, lifting up his eyes to heaven, said, "I will pay my vows now in the midst of thee, O Smithfield"? The place was red with the blood of saints, and brown with the burning of fires! Ah me! the lines are fallen to us in pleasant places; we have a goodly heritage. Will you pay your vows unto the Lord in the basement of the tabernacle? Smithfield's fires are out, thank God. It should be easier for us to be consecrated, and devoted, and whole-hearted here and now.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

The importance of gratitude in the heart of man cannot be over-estimated. This is true, even viewing it as an item in the economy of human things. But the sin and the shame of not possessing it are surely greatest when men are found unthankful to their God. "What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits?" It is a practical question, for God does not expect any reward from us which we cannot give.

1. And, first, might we not have a full appreciation of God's goodness? This would please Him. There are times certainly when we should practise abstinence, but to say this is very far from teaching that it is sinful to appreciate and use to the full the means of sustenance and enjoyment which God has given. A full appreciation of the beauty of the world in which we live, — of the warmth of its sunshine and the fragrance of its flowers, of the strength and healing in its kindly fruits, — is one of the least rewards God merits and expects. A lack of due appreciation is one of the seeds of ingratitude.

2. And then, too, let us be patient in all the circumstances of our life. This also will please God. There may be some who are in want. What shall we say to such as these? Shall we be content to tell them of a better land? Let us tell them of that country, and lead them thither, but let us also tell them to be patient here. Tell them that Jesus, who laid their burden upon them, will help them to bear its weight. "Sweet are the uses of adversity" if it leads us to trust more in Him. I once heard of a man who was rich, and happy in his wealth. Suddenly a reverse in fortune came, and he lost all. Yet, even in misfortune, he was still happy. On being asked the reason why he was happy in all circumstances of life, he answered, "When I was rich, I saw God in all things. Now that I am poor, I have all things in God." Brethren, "in your patience possess ye your souls."

3. And God expects us to be kind. That will surely please Him, for He has said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me." The very existence of the poor (and we have them with us always) is an opportunity for good works. May all of us in time "learn the luxury of doing good." We have kept the grandest lesson of harvest till the last.

4. It leads our thoughts on from carnal food to Jesus, who is the Bread of Life. As food is necessary for the sustenance of the body, so is Jesus necessary for the life of the soul. Therefore, like David, let us "take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord."

(F. St. John Corbett.)

I. THE BENEFITS WHICH WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM GOD. The catalogue is endless. It stretches into eternity. Converting mercy — pardoning mercy — renewing mercy — justifying mercy — restoring mercy — supporting mercy; — where shall I close the enumeration?

II. THE RETURN OF GRATITUDE AND LOVE WHICH GOD REQUIRES AT YOUR HAND.

1. There are methods of glorifying God common to every Christian. Every Christian must dedicate his body to God as His temple. Surrender to Him the key of every apartment. Lay open to Him every chamber of your heart. Let your spirit bow before Him as He enters in, and hail Him Lord of all that it contains.

2. By employing your talents in His service. If you are the property of God, then all the powers of the mind, as well as the members of the body, are individually his right.

(T. Raffles, D. D.)

I. THE DESIRE THAT PROMPTS THE QUESTION.

1. It seems to be a law of nature that some return should be made for benefits received.

2. Gratitude can only be shown by making some return.

3. Thanksgiving is the peculiar privilege of the saint.

4. How may we know when we are truly thankful?

(1)When we are quick to see and slow to forget our mercies.

(2)When our heart is in our praises.

(3)When there is an absence of all thought of human merit.

II. SOME THOUGHTS SUGGESTED BY THE QUESTION.

1. The possessions of God.

2. Our own poverty.

III. THE ONLY ANSWER THAT CAN BE GIVEN. The heart's gratitude is all the saint can give in return for mercies that are fresh with every hour, and as numerous as the seconds in the day. Do not stingy withhold the only thing you can render. Praise Him, it costs nothing, it is all that you can do, and it is just what He is willing to accept. Not to do so is disloyalty to heaven's throne. But if thanksgiving be good, remember thanksliving is better, therefore let thy whole life join in the harmony.

(A. G. Brown.)

? — The text is the language of a man who sees religion in its true light.

I. THE BENEFITS RECEIVED.

1. The benefit of answered prayer. The ancient Romans had many gods, some of which they regarded as their especial deities; but they were so much afraid of some other nation stealing or enticing their gods away that they never mentioned their names; and in one instance the marble image of a god was actually chained in the temple, to prevent his leaving them or being spirited away to some other place. Being fickle themselves, they believed their gods were also fickle. The blessedness of true religion, based upon Divine revelation, is that is clearly shows that our God will never leave us. He has promised, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." God careth for us because He is our Creator and our Redeemer. He is a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God.

2. The Lord had redeemed his soul from death. Then, because He has redeemed your soul from death on the cross, what will you render unto the Lord? Will you not take the cup of salvation? Will you not be the Lord's servant and pay your vows in the presence of His people?

II. THE RETURN MADE FOR THESE BENEFITS. "I will take the cup of salvation." Jesus spoke of His body as bread and of His blood as wine; and when He told His disciples that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood, it is evident He meant that we must get our spiritual nourishment from believing in the truth and love of His Gospel, and our strength from practising that truth and love in our lives. It is considered doubly treacherous to injure or betray a man of whose bread and wine you have partaken. The Arabs say that if you eat bread with them or taste their salt, they can never injure you; everlastingly they are your friends. Now, when you take the cup at what is called the Lord's Supper, it means, likewise, that you publicly testify that you are a friend of Jesus who died for you; and when you eat the bread, you mean that you earnestly desire to receive the truth, which the bread represents. Partaking of this cup also means that we trust our Lord. Alexander of Greece was warned by a friend that his physician was seeking an opportunity of poisoning him; but, when the physician next time presented the cup, Alexander looked in his face steadfastly, and then, taking it in his hand, said, "I drink to show my trust in thee!"

(W. Birch.)

I will take the cup of salvation
It is a most natural thing, as all languages show, to talk of a man's lot, either of sorrow or of joy, as the cup which he has to drink; and there are plenty of instances of the metaphor in the psalms, such as "Thou art the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup, Thou maintainest my lot." "My cup runneth over." That familiar emblem is all that is wanted here. "The cup of salvation" expresses, by its plural form, the fulness and variety of the manifold and multiform deliverances which God had wrought and was working for the psalmist His whole lot in life appears to him as a cup-full of tender goodness, loving faithfulness, delivering grace. It runs over with Divine acts of help and sustenance. As his grateful heart thinks of all God's benefits to him, he feels at once the impulse to requite and the impossibility of doing it. The great thought, then, which lies here is that we best requite God by thankfully taking what He gives.

I. NOW, I note HOW DEEP THAT THOUGHT GOES INTO THE HEART OF GOD. Why is it that we honour God most by taking, not by giving? The first answer that occurs to you, no doubt, is — because of His all-sufficiency and our emptiness. No doubt that is quite true; and, rightly understood, that is a strengthening and a glad truth. But is that all which can be said in explanation of this principle? The principle of our text reposes at last on "God is love and wishes our hearts," and not merely on "God has all and does not need our gifts." He delights in no recompense, but only in the payment of a heart won to His love and melted by His mercies.

II. But now let us look at THE ELEMENTS WHICH MAKE UP THIS REQUITAL OF GOD IN WHICH HE DELIGHTS. And, first, let us be sure that we recognize the real contents of our cup. It is a cup of salvation, however hard it is sometimes to believe it. How much blessing and happiness we all rob ourselves of by our slowness to feel that! Then, again, another of the elements of this requital of God is — be sure that you take what God gives. There can be no greater slight and dishonour to a giver than to have his gifts neglected. Do not complain of your thirsty lips till you are sure that you have emptied the cup of salvation which God gives. One more element of this requital of God has still to be named — the thankful recognition of Him in all our feasting, — "call on the name of the Lord." Without this, the preceding precept would be a piece of pure selfish epicureanism — and without this it would be impossible. Only he who enjoys life in God enjoys it worthily. Only he who enjoys life in God enjoys it at all. This is the true infusion which gives sweetness to whatever of bitter, and more of sweetness to whatever of sweet, the cup may contain, when the name of the Lord is pronounced above it. If we carried that spirit with us into all our small duties, sorrows, and gladnesses, how different they would all seem! We should not then find that God's gifts hid Him from us. Nothing would be too great for us to attempt, nothing too small for us to put our strength into. There is an old legend of an enchanted cup filled with poison, and put treacherously into a king's hand. He signed the sign of the cross and named the name of God over it — and it shivered in his grasp. Do you take this name of the Lord as a test. Name Him over many a cup which you are eager to drink of, and the glittering fragments will lie at your feet, and the poison be spilled on the ground. What you cannot lift before His pure eyes and think of Him while you enjoy, is not for you. Friendships, schemes, plans, ambitions, amusements, speculations, studies, loves, businesses — can you call on the name of the Lord while you put these cups to your lips? If not, fling them behind you — for they are full of poison which, for all its sugared sweetness, at the last will bite like a serpent and sting like an adder.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

"What shall I render?" "Take!" Why, the whole essence of Christianity is in that antithesis, if you think about it. For what does the doctrine that a man is saved by faith mean, if it does not mean that the one thing that we all have to do is to accept what God bestows? And the same attitude of reception which we have to assume at the beginning of our Christian life must be maintained all through it. Depend upon it, we shall make far more progress in the Divine life if we learn that each step of it must begin with the acceptance of a gift from God, than if we toil, and moil, and wear ourselves with vain efforts in our own strength. I do not mean that a Christian man is not to put forth such efforts, but I do mean that the basis of all profitable discipline, and self-control, and reaching out towards higher attainments, either in knowledge or in practical conformity to Jesus Christ, which he puts forth, must be laid in fuller acceptance of God's gift, on which must follow building on the foundation, by resolute efforts to work God's gift into our characters, and to work it out in our lives. All around you, Christian men, there lie infinite possibilities. God does not wait to be asked to give; He has given once for all; and continuously as the result of that once-for-all giving, just as preservation is but the prolongation of the act of creation. He has given, once for all, and continuously, all that every man, and all men, need, for their being made perfectly like Himself. We hear people praying for "larger bestowments of grace." Let them take the bestowments that they have, and they will find them enough for their need. God communicated His whole fulness to the Church for ever when He sent His Son, and when His Son sent His Spirit. "Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it." Take what you have and you will find that you have all that you need.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

The two component parts of true religion are receiving and rendering. As to the first disciples, so to each one of us, according to the several providential gifts and spiritual graces bestowed upon each, the Master still says, "Freely ye have received, freely give." And I doubt not many a financial loss that has overtaken wealthy or well-to-do members of the Church has been visited upon them because while they "received" they failed to "render." The true record of the bankruptcy of many a Christian merchant might be written thus: — First, he failed to render to his God; then, and therefore, he failed to receive from God (for God could no longer give where no adequate return was made), and then, lastly and consequently, he failed to pay his fellows. But whether or not such retribution overtakes the unjust steward in this life, there can be no doubt that when the Lord returns He will require the balance-sheet to be presented — a balance-sheet in which the receiving and the rendering alike will he faithfully chronicled; and then the Lord "will render unto every man according to his work."

I. The psalmist refers to the great benefit of PERSONAL SALVATION (ver. 16). It is true that as you "were not redeemed with" such "corruptible things as silver and gold," so such things as silver and gold can never make adequate repayment to your Redeemer. He claims your love, your life; not yours, but you. And yet shall we refuse these "corruptible things" when by them we may bring honour to our Saviour and help to extend His kingdom?

II. The psalmist refers, again, to the great benefit of PIOUS PARENTAGE. "The son of Thine handmaid" — how great a blessing is acknowledged in those simple words! Through this small loophole we can see the inestimable advantages of a religious home. The psalmist makes no reference to his father, but his mother's pre-eminent piety stands before him still, and he recognizes it as one of his choicest blessings when he says, "I am Thy servant and the son of Thine handmaid." How many of us have to thank God for this priceless benefit — the benefit of a pious parentage and religious training!

III. The psalmist also refers — and, as it is the occasion of the psalm, refers at length — to the benefit of RESTORED HEALTH AND PROLONGED LIFE. Through pain and weakness he had been "brought low." Disease held him fast in its fierce grip, so that he "found trouble and sorrow." "The sorrows of death compassed him" — came crowding round him on every side, till there seemed to be no escape; and the "pains of hell" — the mysteries of the unseen world and the darkness of the grave — "got hold upon him." Then in his pain and misery he cried unto the Lord, and God heard his voice and his supplication. "Precious in the sight of the Lord was the death of His saint;" i.e. it was not lightly regarded by God that His servant should perish. He rebuked the destroyer, made "Death ungrasp his fainting prey." He "delivered his soul from death," his "eyes from tears," his "feet from falling." And now, with health restored and life prolonged, the psalmist cries, "What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits towards me?" And he answers, "I will walk before God in the land of the living"; "I will pay my vows unto the Lord"; "I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving."

(J. H. Grooves.)

In the Bible "the cup" is used to represent the condition of a man, his circumstances, and his portion (Psalm 11:6; Psalm 16:5; Psalm 23:5; Psalm 60:3; Psalm 75:8). The cup of salvation is the condition of deliverance, which this psalm celebrates, not the drink-offering appointed by the law, not the cup of blessing. Noah's deliverance was a cup of salvation. "To call upon the name of the Lord" is a phrase of greater power than to call upon the Lord. There is a reference, in the use of the word "name," to the manifestations of God, to historical Divine manifestations (Exodus 3:13-15).

I. GOD GIVING.

1. A personal God.

2. Something which the personal God has provided and arranged, held out to His creatures.

3. A recognition of a relation with us upon God's part, and of dependence upon our part.

4. Kindness shown. The cup of blessing is a revelation of love.

II. MAN TAKING. Here it may be said, Will he not invariably take? Must he not take? The taking here is not a simple laying hold of that which God gives, but the use and enjoyment of what God bestows. To "take the cup of salvation" is to receive a blessing in all its fulness, to the utmost limit of our receptive capacity, and of our power to accept and to enjoy.

III. GOD'S SERVANT SEEING GOD IN WHAT HE TAKES. There is a name of God on every cup and in each act of offering a cup. The words, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, represent the God who is to be seen in the lives of these men. But God is as really in the lives of Robinson, and Smith, and Jones, as in the lives of the patriarchs. God is in health and in healing, in wealth and in extrication from poverty, in prosperity and in lifting up out of adversity. In His giving and working and ministering and protecting, God is ever writing His name. One point of difference between the godly and ungodly is that the former see God in connection with their cup, and that the latter see Him not. As far as a landscape without sunshine is inferior to a landscape upon which the sun sheds his rays, is the appearance of blessings when separated from God, to the same blessings when regarded as the gift of His hand.

IV. WORSHIP, THE FRUIT OF WHAT WE RECEIVE AND SEE. "And will call upon the name of the Lord." Past and present gifts on the part of God should encourage us in three things — prayer, praise, and thanksgiving.

(S. Martin.)

How much more happy we should all be, if we only received all that God offers and accepted more cordially that which we do take! A writer in "The Reader," in an admirable article on Thermo-electrical Science, observes, "Like windmills, thermo-electric batteries might be erected over the country, and entrap, finally converting into mechanical motion, and thus into money, gleams of sunshine, which would be as wind to the sails of the mill. What stores of fabulous wealth are, as far as our earth is concerned, constantly wasted by the non-retention of solar rays poured on the desert of Sahara. Nature here refuses to use her wonderful radiation net, for we cannot cover the desert sands with trees, and man is left alone to try his skill in retaining solar energy. Hitherto helpless, we need not be so much longer, and the force of a Sahara sun may be carried through wires to Cairo, and thence irrigate the desert, or possibly, if need be, it could pulsate under our streets, and be made to burn in Greenland." Take up your neglected mercies, my brethren. Take the cup which you have overlooked and despised. Take the cup entirely, which you have taken but partially, and with the taking of every cup call upon the name of the Lord.

(S. Martin.)

The whole lot in life of the psalmist appears to him like a cup full of tender, good, loving faithfulness and delivering grace. And why is it that the best return for God's goodness is by further taking, not by giving? The principle upon which this text rests ultimately is that God is love, and wants our hearts, and not merely that God has everything and does not need our gifts. Take the illustration of our own case. Do we not feel that all the bloom and beauty are gone from a gift if the giver hopes to receive anything in return? Love gives because it delights to give. It gives to express itself, and to bless the giver. If there be any thought of return, it is only the return of love. And that is how God gives. As St. James expresses it, He is the giving God. "I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord." The Jewish father at the head of his family on the old Passover day, at a certain period in the family feast, solemnly lifted the wine cup and breathed a thanksgiving to God, and then drank of it with all around him. This word here "I will take" we may fairly translate as "I will raise." Perhaps it is intended that there should be preserved for us within the sacred word that old picture as emblematic of the consecration that should rest upon all our happiness and upon all our life — the remembrance of God, the calling upon the name of the Lord. Christ gave us not merely the ritual of an ordinance, but the pattern of all our life, when He took the cup and gave thanks. And so common joys become sacraments, and enjoyments in our homes and in our innocent pleasures become worship, and the cup of mingled bitter and sweet that is provided for each of us by our loving Father becomes a cup of blessing and of salvation over which and by reason of which we can come more fully to recognize and praise the goodness of God.

(M. Hartley.)

This cup of salvation is standing on the table of infinite love, filled to the brim with the wine of the Kingdom; all heaven is there in solution, all joy, peace, comfort, security, for the word salvation covers all. How came it there? Ages back man was tempted and drank of a forbidden cup; it wrought madness in the brain, enmity in the heart, and the poison spread into all parts of his being, and as the result of the first draught he had to drink of another, the cup of sorrow. But over and beyond there is a third cup of God's holy anger against sin, deep and filled with wormwood and gall. The Man Christ Jesus comes in a body like our own, He looks on the cup of Divine anger, He takes and begins, to drink, and finds it a cup of trembling and amazement, but never a moment's pause or hesitation till He came to the dregs, and His anguished soul cried, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" and He puts it down and says, "It is finished." He rises again; and now the cup which He had drained is as full of blessing as it was of woe. It is the cup of God's salvation. "Take" the cup of salvation, not make. So many are wanting to tread out grapes of their own good works and put them into the cup, but that is filled with the wine which comes from Jesus Himself, having been trodden in the winepress. "Take," not admire and wonder. "Take," not only hold it in a trembling hand, but drink, put it to thy lips and say, "I will take the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord." All believers may take a fresh and a deeper draught, and the more you drink of this wine the more sober you become, and the deeper and sweeter, for there is more in Christ than was ever dreamed of, and a delight in God's salvation that could never be thought possible.

(A. G. Brown.)

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